ROCHESTER, Minn. – The state of Minnesota has declared November “C. Difficile Infection Awareness Month.” According to research, C. Diff is the most common infection in U.S. hospitals within the last decade.
Doctors at Mayo Clinic want people to know that they can get the infection even outside of hospitals. They also say once you get it, it’s easier to get it each time.
Dr. Sahil Khanna said ways to prevent C. Diff is to wash hands and avoid unnecessary antibiotics. He said Mayo Clinic is also studying whether or not there could be a vaccination for C. Diff.
“So there's a large multi-center study that's going on right now in people who may be at risk for C. Diff infection,” Khanna said. “So if you've been to the hospital, if you've received antibiotics, those patients can be enrolled in a vaccine study to see if this vaccine would prevent C. Diff from happening.”
Mayo Clinic is also working with Minnesota-based company Rebiotix on another form of treatment for the infection where people can simply ingest a tablet.
“Newer studies are being derived where you can actually take material from donor stool, process donor stool in a lab, and derive all the good bacteria that you need from the donor stool and put them in capsule form,” Khanna said.
Khanna said this capsule-based treatment has more advantages than a colonoscopy-based treatment that is currently being used to treat C. Diff.